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So You Think You're Being Paranoid

Do you ever feel paranoid? That feeling of impending dread that something is about to happen to you at any given moment? I get that way sometimes. I think we all do even if we don't realize it. Those moments when you drive around and it seems after every turn that car behind you keeps following you. That's one way my paranoia kicks in. I'll even drive around the block, and avoid going down my street, because I assume I'm now in The Big Sleep and these are the thugs who are after me.

My paranoia is a little on the mild to moderately annoying side. There's far deeper levels of paranoia to be sure. I'm just glad that I'm no where near the side of the scale in which I don't leave my house, because I fear that bright glowing orb in the sky. I think part of the reason we're all having increased amounts of paranoia is the fact that we have TV channels who do nothing but report news to us all day long. Naturally, they need some filler to fill 24 hours worth of time, and sometimes that filler is silly stories like “What you don't know about your kitchen might kill you”. The simple act of fixing breakfast can be ruined by a news anchor saying “Did you know that if you fry eggs over easy on the third Thursday of every month, the Aztec demon deity Gorto will rise out of your sink and kill you? It's true!”

We live in an incredible age of technology, where the answer to any query or question can be on hand within mere seconds of an internet search. The only problem being that for every correct answer there is on the internet, there's a thousand other incorrect answers. You awake with a scratchy throat, and think nothing of it. Later on in the day, it's worse. So you google up an answer for what might be a simple way to take care of the problem. All it takes is a fifteen minute waltz around WebMD to have yourself convinced that you are moments away from death.

This is when paranoia takes center stage and starts to take over your mental process. Despite not talking to an actual doctor, you call your family and tell them to meet you in your bedroom at six that evening. They all come, and find you in bed, propped up on pillows, and covered in nearly every blanket you could get your hands on. For some reason, you're talking like James Mason, and saying things to your significant other like “Come closer m'dear. Let me gaze upon thy visage one last time.” This is when your significant other smashes the modem, and cuts you off from the internet.

Your family insists that you call the doctor. You refuse, saying “There's nothing he can do for me now”. Your family drags you to the doctor, who tells you that you have a head cold, and you'll be fine in a few days. You suddenly return to your usual self, and are shocked to find that everyone is angry at you. Paranoia subsides, and you're head cold leaves. But it's almost fascinating to see how quickly you can jump from A to “I have mere hours left!”. Logic fleeing the mind rapidly, and all you can see is the dread.

It's hard to keep paranoia in check, it happens to us all from time to time. The key is not letting it completely overwhelm you to the “talking like James Mason” stage. Despite that we all might sense that our demise is just seconds away, it's not. Clouds part, and things will become bright. Perhaps the saddest realization of all is that of knowing you are not, in fact, Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep. Now if you'll pardon me, I'm going to go get under every blanket I can find, and start talking like James Mason. I'm not paranoid, I'm just cold and want to sound like a fine English actor.


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